I have a new friend who is very careful about what she posts online. In the year or so we’ve gotten to know each other, we’ve taken loads of pictures together. But she doesn’t post them to social media. Instead, they stay on her phone. What a novel idea.
A few months ago, we were at a get-together one evening and another friend didn’t want her to post pictures of the gathering. And do you know why? Because her friend wasn’t invited to the party and was feeling a little hurt. There was no need to rub salt in the wound by blasting photos all of the gathering all over social media for those not invited to see.
If you ask me, that’s not just being a good friend; it’s being a person who is aware of others.
On the flip side, I know a few women who I like to call “fake friends.” They are near and dear to each other when they are in the same room, but as soon as a back is turned the claws come out and they are in constant competition with one another about men, money, and their friends. They have made it their job to try and to prove who has a better life.
It’s fucking exhausting, and I am not here for it.
Needless to say, there has been a lot of drama surrounding their damn social media posts if one of them isn’t included in something. It’s so ridiculous I can’t believe it’s even a thing, yet here we are. I thought we left that fuckery in high school, but then social media walked into our lives and kicked some of the old shit into the air.
I know we live in a time where we are starting to believe if we don’t post something on social media, we wonder if it’s even happened (guilty!), but some people have a tendency to post their highlight reel just to shove it up everyone’s butt, whether they realize it or not.
We feel “less than” when we see someone’s vacation posts from Bali, chased with their kid’s high-honor roll status, then followed by an epic get-together with friends where fancy cheese and wine is being served. Not only do we feel bad as we look at our Cheetos-stained jeans because our life seems sub-par to theirs, we wonder if that’s why we weren’t invited to the wine and cheese party. Is it because we just aren’t good enough? Is it because they don’t like us? Is it because of the fucking Cheetos stains?
I know for certain this affects teenagers when it comes to social media since I have three of them. I tell them time and time again before they post pictures of them and their friends at events, not only do they need their friend’s permission first, they need to ask themselves if the evidence they are about the spread all over their social channels could potentially leave anyone out. Will someone see the posts and wonder why they weren’t included? Will someone else be hurt? Will posting this just make you look like an obnoxious look-at-me douche?
But the truth is, we all know adults who do the same thing thinking it’s perfectly fine to blast a good time on their Facebook page knowing it is very likely to hurt someone’s feelings, and will just make them look like they are trying too hard to prove that their life is fabulous. And it’s annoying AF.
The thing is, those posts aren’t fooling anyone. They reek of desperation and everyone knows it.
If you are posting something to take a dig at another person, it’s so obvious and only makes you look like an asshole so knock that shit off.
Take the high road. Snap the picture, but don’t post it if the only motivation behind it is to make a friend or ex feel shitty because they aren’t there.
Sure, people can post what they want, and there certainly are times when feelings are unintentionally hurt while scrolling through Facebook and seeing friends or family at a gathering when they weren’t invited. It happens. But a lot of these posts are intentional because someone is looking to poke at someone, and it’s usually because they were hurt about a situation they were left out of and they think payback is the answer. And by this point, we should all know better.
It really isn’t that hard to pull back and ask yourself why you are sharing something on social media. And if the answer is to brag, make someone feel left out, jealous, or rub something in someone’s face, be the bigger person and don’t do it. Just knock that petty shit off.
Share something that makes you happy. Share something that inspires you. Share the fact you are having surgery on your hemorrhoids. But don’t share something to spite someone else. This is always a case where no one wins.
It really is possible to do social media in a respectful way. And if you are on the receiving end of someone’s hurtful posts, don’t forget that the “unfollow” button was made for a reason.
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